"There is always a philosophy for lack of courage."—Albert Camus

Friday, August 12, 2005

Out There with Stephen Bochco's New Show on Iraq War

Michael Fumento has provided a keen analysis of Stephen Bochco's new TV show, Over There, now appearing on the FX channel. I have not seen the program and have no plans to do so, but I found Fumento's critique quite interesting. Fumento, a former Army Ranger, has spent time embedded in real frontline areas in Iraq, and his insights into the accuracy of Bochco's portrayal of the war are consequently well informed. Fumento is a strong supporter of the War in Iraq, and Bochco appears not to be, so sparks do fly. Here's an excerpt of Fumento's critique:

If "Over There" has a true military advisor, he deserves the firing squad. In the first episode a squad is pinned down while besieging a terrorist-filled mosque. The unit remains for about 36 hours with no air support, because "Air is dedicated to another area." Never mind that planes or choppers are always available within minutes. They request artillery, again to no avail. There's no armor.

I thought that Bochco did a wonderful job writing Columbo episodes back in the 1970s, but his subsequent efforts to make television entertainment into an overtly meaningful art form have always struck me as witlessly adolescent. I would greatly like to see him return to the intelligent style of writing he developed under the tutelage of the master mystery writing team of Richard Levinson and William Link, creators of Columbo, Ellery Queen (which was cancelled after only one season), and Murder, She Wrote. Oh, well.

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